This is one of my favorite pasta dishes. It came about as a tie-breaker when I had asked my family if they wanted Spaghetti Bolognese or Stuffed Cannelloni and we had a fifty-fifty result. Meaning daughter voted for spaghetti, son Cannelloni, and husband remained uncommitted. “I like them both.”
So, it was up to mom to break the tie. There was no way I was taking sides. So, I made a version of the two using a rich Bolognese sauce and a spinach ricotta and stuffed tube pasta with both. The flavors, delicious! The dish, beautiful! The result, a family favorite!
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the three crushed garlic cloves, a large diced onion, and one diced carrot and sauté for 6 minutes.
Add a pound of sweet Italian sausage and three and a half ounces diced prosciutto to the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes, until well browned.
Stir in five-eighths a cup of marsala, a can of diced tomatoes, some fresh chopped basil, and a tablespoon or two. Stir in two tablespoons of tomato paste.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. The longer the sauce simmers the richer the flavor. To experience the full flavor simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Reserve one cup of sauce.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix two cups of ricotta, a small box of thawed and drained frozen spinach, half of a diced red bell pepper, and two scallions finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring a large pan of water to a boil, add one tablespoon oil and cook a box of cannelloni or other tube-shaped pasta for 3 – 4 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
Lightly oil a square baking pan. Cut the pasta in half. Spoon Bolognese sauce into each tube filling halfway and layer in prepared baking pan. Pasta should be touching but not crowded. Spoon cheese mixture over the sauce in each tube filling to the top.
Pour the reserved sauce over the top of the pasta. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through.
Kid tested and approved! So Good! – Ella
• 3 tablespoon olive oil
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 1 carrot, diced
• 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
• 3 1/2 ounces lean prosciutto, diced
• 5/8 cup Marsala
• 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
• 2 tablespoon tomato paste
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 cup ricotta cheese
• 5 1/2 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
• 1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
• 2 scallions, chopped
• 8 ounces cannelloni
• 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, onion, and carrot and sauté for 6 minutes.
- Add the sausage and prosciutto to the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes, until well browned.
- Stir in the Marsala, tomatoes, basil, and tomato paste and cook for 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of sauce.
- Remove the lid for the pan, stir, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the ricotta, spinach, bell pepper, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring a large pan of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon oil and cook the pasta for 3 – 4 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
- Lightly oil a baking pan. Cut the pasta in half and line the pan fully with pasta. Pasta should be touching but not crowded. Spoon bolognese sauce into each tube filling halfway. Spoon cheese mixture into each tube filling to the top.
- Pour the reserved sauce over the pasta.
- Sprinkle with cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through.